MICROSOFT IS beginning an onslaught on the biggest part of its current market - enterprises that haven't made the switch to Windows 10 yet and are languishing on Windows 7.
The operating system - which still has over 43 per cent of the market, mostly down to the reluctance from enterprise users to upgrade - is due to reach end of life in January 2020, and many are still wet behind the ears from the end of XP support.
Microsoft plans to bang the drum for its utopian vision of a world where everyone uses Windows 10, Windows Cloud and Office 365 for the remainder of this year, with a harsher, more ‘Protect and Survive' tone in the final year leading to the end.
'End-of-life' for the less-initiated is the point where Microsoft stops supporting a product, meaning no more bug-fixes, security patches or new functionality, making any user - personal or enterprise - significantly more susceptible to malware attacks.
The less successful Windows 8(.x) has seen its market share decimated since Windows 10 launched and won't take much to kill off when the time comes, so Microsoft has been concentrating on the mountain of malcontents who don't want to risk borking proprietary software, drivers not working on older equipment, a huge upsurge in data collection and all the other fun stuff we associate with Windows 10.
It's thought that it won't just be Microsoft executives that are being asked to help, with OEMs and resellers being roped in to try and talk IT managers out of downgrading to Windows 7, a practice which is still happening where fear of Windows 10 is rife, both amongst IT professionals and the wider community.
When Windows XP was replaced by Vista back in 2006, there were huge problems thanks to almost every device requiring a custom written driver to be compatible with the fledgeling OS.
Although it's unlikely that it will happen again - especially with Windows-as-a-Service meaning continuity for some considerable time, but there's still a risk of disruption in offices where Windows 7 is already doing fine raising the perfectly reasonable age-old question - if it ain't broke… why fix it?
Microsoft is already starting to pull up the drawbridge, after announcing that it will no longer manage forums for older versions of Windows. μ
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